Definition of obviate in English:



[with object]
  • 1Remove (a need or difficulty)

    ‘the presence of roller blinds obviated the need for curtains’
    • ‘This capability has major logistic advantages in obviating the need to carry other fuels to battle.’
    • ‘As such, the system already obviates the need for journals to pay for the work that they publish.’
    • ‘Limiting exceptions to the rule to clear cases obviates the need for deliberation in every case.’
    • ‘All of which rather obviates the need for an answer to my first question.’
    • ‘It won't obviate the need for the Government to address the chronic skills crisis that's facing our military.’
    • ‘The diagnostic yield of bronchoalveolar lavage approaches 90%, obviating the need for biopsy in most cases.’
    • ‘This construction obviates the need to incorporate time into the backward construction of genealogical histories.’
    • ‘A wind-based ventilation system installed in the eco-floatel obviates the need for an air-conditioner.’
    • ‘The vast majority of adenomas can be removed at colonoscopy, obviating the need for surgery.’
    • ‘Should this obviate the need to consider alternative theories?’
    • ‘My own view is that by turning over this information, we obviate the need for Matt to even testify, let alone be incarcerated.’
    • ‘The simplicity of the product would also obviate the need for independent financial advice at the point of sale.’
    • ‘And there are a number of cases that appear to obviate the need for a specifically partisan approach.’
    • ‘First, a well-functioning market economy does not obviate the need for democracy and civil and political rights.’
    • ‘This, however, does not obviate the need for democratic forces to formulate a strategy for change.’
    • ‘When it does become a reality, it is not expected to obviate the need for treatment.’
    • ‘The new boards obviate the need for accurately positioned spotlights or coloured bulbs.’
    • ‘Forcing that outcome now is right and timely, and may obviate the need to pursue it militarily later.’
    • ‘But then, that would obviate the need for Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.’
    • ‘All the terraces are concrete, which obviates the need to worry about timber decking rotting or getting slippery when wet.’
    preclude, prevent, remove, get rid of, do away with, get round, rule out, eliminate, make unnecessary, take away, foreclose, avoid, avert, counter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Avoid or prevent (something undesirable)
      ‘a parachute can be used to obviate disaster’
      • ‘This incredible pillow-based innovation permits grandkids to obviate unpleasant grandma kisses and avoid exposure to toxic grandpa odors.’
      • ‘Third, hypoxia can be induced surreptitiously, obviating behavioral responses at the time where critical measurements are made.’
      • ‘However, characterizing the migration and traction of a population of cells assuming time invariance obviates determination of dynamic changes in the associated parameters.’
      • ‘This obviated much of the criticism that would have occurred if funding had been diverted from standard health or law enforcement budgets.’
      • ‘By permitting the use of suffer materials, it may obviate the problem of undesired sticking of particulates.’
      • ‘Our study obviates that criticism, because the antibodies we used are directed toward CXCL12 rather than to CXCR4-bearing NSCLC cells.’
      • ‘As they made changes in the military doctrine, its authors practically obviated such concepts as strategic offensive operation in continental TO.’


Late 16th century: from late Latin obviat- ‘prevented’, from the verb obviare, based on Latin via ‘way’.